P4. Non-renewable materials intensity over product lifetime



P4: Non-renewable materials intensity over product lifetime  =

Sum for each product [(Weight of a product unit x Proportion of non-renewable content x Units produced) / Expected lifetime of product}

Unit of the indicator: tonnes/year

Why this indicator is important

Extending the longevity of products that incorporate non-renewable materials will reduce the amount of non-renewable materials that need to be extracted and transformed. It will also reduce the amount of energy consumed and waste created in producing new products.

This indicator is the total non-renewable resource intensity of the product mix produced during the reference year per expected product lifetime.



Increasing the lifetime of a product will result in a lower value of this indicator since the extracted resources will need to be replaced less often. It may also have the effect of increasing the price of the product and possibly reducing the level of production required to satisfy the same demand. For examples, users would need half the number of diapers that last 6 hours than those that last 3 hours.

There are many ways of increasing product lifetime including improved component replacement, higher quality components, improved quality control and maintenance.

Related issues

This Toolkit includes two indicators related to this one: Non-renewable materials intensity (I1) and Renewable materials content of products (P3). Neither of these is directly related to the lifetime of the product. Extending product lifetime may influence the non-renewable materials intensity by reducing the amount of materials required but this improvement in performance would not necessarily be attributed to a change in product lifetime. A similar improvement in performance could be brought about by increasing the proportion of renewable materials or other design changes that require fewer non-renewable materials. By increasing product lifetime, this indicator will show a decrease in the facility’s overall non-renewable materials intensity (I1).


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